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2017 Volvo XC60 is a speedy, spacious and safe luxury SUV Featured

Feb 13, 2017 Hit: 126 Written by 
The 2017 Volvo XC60 offers a surprisingly fast ride, and brings Volvo's safety pedigree.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 offers a surprisingly fast ride, and brings Volvo's safety pedigree. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

The Volvo brand -- once you move beyond its loyal, safety-focused followers -- finds itself in an interesting position. Volvo is not the first auto company people think of when they hear the word “luxury”, but that is how they identify (and price) their vehicles, which are up against the biggest international luxury automotive names in the world.


One of their top models is the XC60 crossover, which I recently had the chance to test. So the question is: How well does the 2017 XC60 hold up well against tough competition?

LOOKS

The XC60 is officially considered a compact SUV, but I found it to be closer in size and storage space to many midsize SUVs.

Put down the rear seats and your storage space is among the best in class. Legroom and headroom in the vehicle is excellent in all seats. Overall look and feel of the materials inside are high-class. The XC60 shows luxury pedigree, even moreso than some vehicles that cost a bit more. In part due to materials, there is a comfortable feel for the driver even on longer rides.

Exterior design on the XC60 isn’t as flashy or attractive as some rivals, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2017 Volvo XC60
  • Price as tested:: $52,455 (starts at $40,950)
  • Best feature:: Powerful engine for its segment, roomy, safety features
  • Rating:: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Luxury SUV buyers who want a roomy option that’s not overly flashy


ENGINE, HORSEPOWER

The XC60 I tested has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged engine. Output is 302 horsepower, and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. There is also a lower engine option (with only the turbo) that features 240 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft.

There’s an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is offered on all XC60 models (FWD is standard). Towing capacity is between 3,500 to 4,400 pounds.

So what’s the driving experience like in the XC60?

Pretty darn fast.

These are powerful four-cylinder offerings, among best in segment and more impressive than I thought it would be when I first got behind the wheel. Outside of a couple competitors which have slightly more powerful V6 engine options, the XC60 is going to be one of your best performers.

But on the downside, there’s a bit of a herky-jerky nature to starting and stopping at times, so the ride is not as smooth as some competitors.


Also the start/stop technology in this vehicle is a fuel saver, but also annoying to driver, abruptly cutting off engine at stop lights, and then taking too long to start back up when getting moving again.

Handling in the XC60 is adequate, but definitely a bit stiff -- not exactly agile.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

Safety features are the hallmark of all Volvo vehicles. It’s basically what they’re known for and why so many Volvo fans are loyal to the brand.

The XC60 is no exception. You get excellent safety scores and don’t need to worry how it will handle itself in a tough situation.


Among standard features on the XC90: LED running lights, automatic wipers, blind spot monitor, rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, and a 7-inch infotainment display, 8-speaker stereo, USB input,


You can update to include a higher quality audio system (14-speaker Harman Kardon), lane departure warning, frontal collision warnings (with full auto braking and pedestrian detection), adaptive cruise control, headlight washers, adaptive xenon headlights and more.


The Volvo vehicles feature a unique infotainment system with a design and controls that can be confusing at times. That’s one area where the XC60 could use some improvement, as it could be a turn-off for some potential buyers who otherwise like the vehicle.


MPG

The XC60 performs impressively on fuel mileage. Official numbers on may AWD tester were 20 city/27 highway/22 combined … FWD models are closer to 23 city/30 highway.

Compared to similar vehicles in the stables of Lexus, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and  Acura, these numbers hold up well.

PRICE, BOTTOM LINE
My test vehicle was just over $52,000; base price starts about $40K. The XC60 is at the lower end of the luxury spectrum but still isn’t cheap by any means. Many vehicles competing with the XC60 are right in this price range, but it’s also more affordable than some key rivals, which should help sales.


I enjoyed my time in the XC60, though it didn’t distinguish itself in any extreme way from the pack. Its best attributes are its roominess and powerful engine performance, plus Volvo’s safety record, but in other areas it is eclipsed by the more modern and up-to-date competition. If you’re a Volvo fan (or curious about the brand) and want to see up close if it meets your needs, it’s definitely worth a test-drive.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: www.autotechreviews.com

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